Premature Baby Born at 25 Weeks Weighing Less Than 1lb Needs Bubble Wrap To Stay Warm

A premature baby has been born in the United Kingdom that weighed just 325 grams (11 ounces)—less than a pound—at birth.

The mother, Ellie Paton, 17, gave birth to the tiny baby, Hannah Stibbles, on December 30 at a hospital in Scotland, when she was just 25 weeks pregnant, the South West News Service reported.

The baby, which was delivered via an emergency Caesarean section, is thought to be the smallest premature child born in the United Kingdom in around 20 years.

Doctors have warned the mother and father, however, that the baby may not survive due to her tiny size, estimating that she only has a 20 percent chance of pulling through.

When Paton and her partner, 21-year-old Brandon Stibbles, went for a 22-week scan, medical staff told them that the baby was the size of a 16-week-old fetus, as well as diagnosing the mother with pre-eclampsia—a pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure and signs of damage to other organs.

On December 29, Paton began experiencing excruciating stomach and chest pains and she was rushed to hospital. The baby was born the next day just after 1 a.m.

"We were told she had a 20 per cent chance of survival, that she could need resuscitating, or be stillborn but when she came out she was breathing, she's practically breathing on her own," Brandon Stibbles said.

"It's been absolutely crazy, we got the first idea at a scan, the lady said to us 'you've got quite a small baby.' It was quite terrifying."

The baby has been given bubble wrap to stay warm in her incubator because it is lighter than a blanket. The new parents have not been able to hold their new baby yet.

"We are allowed to put our hands in the incubator, I have held her once—she sleeps on a thing called 'the nest.' When the nurse changed it I got to hold her up," Paton told SWNS. "It will be pretty soon we're able to hold her."

The doctors in the neonatal unit had previously told the couple that babies of this size "just don't survive."

"Not at 25 weeks into pregnancy—babies should be 500 grams or more, Hannah was 325 grams," Stibbles said. "If anything she has excelled on the outside. We are hoping things stay the way she is, putting on weight and feeding well."

The couple are waiting anxiously for the day that they can take their baby home, but this may not happen until Paton's due date in mid-April. The baby has put on 25 grams since being out of the womb.

While the experience has been difficult for the new parents, they both said the birth of their child is "the best thing to ever happen to them."

In June 2020, a baby thought to be the world's smallest at birth was born at Singapore's National University Hospital.

The baby, Kwek Yu Xuan, was born just under 25 weeks into her mother's pregnancy, weighing just 212 grams (7.47 ounces) and measuring only 24 centimeters (9.4 inches) long, according to the hospital. The baby was finally discharged from hospital more than a year later.

A premature baby
Stock image showing a premature baby. A baby was born in the United Kingdom that weighed just 11 ounces at birth. iStock